A week or so ago, I posted a note about the Gnat 1 single transistor QRP transceiver. I was excited about building this little project. I gathered up the parts and warmed up the soldering iron.
The project went together easily. After all, there are only about a dozen parts or so, what could go wrong? Oh, what a loaded question that was.
I decided to construct the 80 Meter model. I live about 20 miles out of Helena, MT, and if I was successful in getting this little rig working, I wanted to see if a fellow Ham in Helena could detect my signal. After completion, I attached the power, and antenna. I hooked up the oscilloscope and frequency meter, and powered the rig up.
I was immediately gratified with a signal when I shorted the “key” line. It looked like I was getting out between 200 and 400 milliwatts, depending on the power supply voltage. This is where the fun ended.
I was never able to detect any sort of audio out of the little rig. I followed the tuneup procedure in the instructions to the tee. The instructions were easy to follow and the results were exactly as written, but through all of the test procedures, I was “NEVER” able to detect any audio. After several days, I think I am done with it. Unless something else pops into my mind, I will cut my losses on this one and continue on to the next project that is begging for my attention.
My dead bug Gnat 1. No audio was ever detected. Click to see a closer view of the dead Gnat 1.
The following is portion of a news entry from the ARRL. Click the link and read the whole post; and if you have some vintage gear, fire it up and get ready for this fun sounding contest. I am hoping that I will be able to participate in the fun. Will you join me?
John – K7JM
Click the picture of my Vintage Heathkit gear and take a tour of my Ham Radio Shack.
Warm-up those filaments for the Classic Exchange contest, January 25/26 and February 15/16.
Do you have any old equipment from the bygone days of radio? Are you a homebrewer who likes to make nifty low power (QRP) radios or replicas of old rigs? Well the good news is that you can put those pieces on the air in an operating event that will make you feel like you are in another era. That event is called Classic Exchange (CX) and it is held twice a year. The purpose of CX as described in their newsletter is to “Encourage restoration, operation and enjoyment of older commercial and homebrew ham gear.” Some years ago, I heard stations on 40 meter CW calling “CQ CX.” After some research, I discovered that this was a contest for vintage and homebrew gear. It sounded like a great way to get some use from the old rigs I had in my basement. Since then, I have rediscovered the magic of radio and await the next CX event for more of it.
On December 27, I posted a short video by N0TU announcing SKN (Straight Key Night). He has made an update to that video after the fact of SKN. View his excellent video and see what you missed if you did not operate SKN.
My Leap Second Capture Setup. Click the picture to see a larger view.
A “Leap Second” was added to our clocks at 12:59:60 on Dec. 31, 2008 (12:59:60 is not a typo). Leap Seconds are added or subtracted every so many years, to keep our clocks in sync with the actual orbit of Earth around the sun. There are several different methods to capture the leap second, and I took the opportunity yesterday to see if I could do the same without fancy or expensive equipment.
And, HERE is a page about how to watch a “Leap Second”.
This is how I did it. I tuned into WWV on my Ham Radio receiver, and set up a camera to record the time on my GPS. After looking at the Leap Second web site, I should also have connected my computer to my GPS to capture the NMEA output from it. Click on the picture to the left to see my setup. View the video below, and you will see that 12:59:59 lasted for two seconds on the GPS.
Click the picture to see a bit of my Ham Radio history.
Thanks for visiting my web site. Hidden among the posts and pages, is a page about me, K7JM. My name is John McDougall and I reside in Jefferson City, Montana, a very small community south of the capital city of Helena. I have been licensed since 1973, and love this hobby. Click HERE to see a bit about my history in Ham Radio.
I spent a couple of days on the roads in Eastern Montana. While out there, I spotted this old abandoned house with a tower attached to it. It is just begging to be put to good use once again. And, I would be willing to be the one to put it to good use. I’m not sure how I could find the owner, or how I would get it across the state; but it is something to keep my mind occupied for awhile anyway. Click on the picture to see a larger view. Then, click on the little green arrow at the bottom of the picture to see the picture at full zoom. John
Click the picture to see more of this Montgomery Ward Airline Radio
I love to collect old radio items. I don’t really go out of my way to find them, but when they find me, I am very interested in picking them up if they are not too hard on my bank account. I found this beauty at a garage sale today. There were a couple of other radios there also, but I have a family to feed so I purchased only one. The radio was from Montgomery Wards and has the label “Airline” on the back. I have not had a chance to really dig into the innards or look for information about the radio yet. The radio is a dual bander consisting of the broadcast band and the shortwave band from 5.75 to 17 Mhz. Click the picture to see a slide show of the details. If you know anything about this radio, please leave me a comment.